09/26/2002 11:00PM

Paolini, Zindabad back for another try


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Paolini and Zindabad, the second and third horses across the wire in the turbulent 2001 Canadian International, will clash again in the 65th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million turf race at Woodbine on Sunday.

The 1 1/2-mile International is the eighth leg of the 2002 World Series Racing Championship. The 11-race card also features three other stakes - the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, the Grade 3 Highlander, and the Chief Bearhart.

German-bred Paolini was probably best in the 2001 International, in which he broke slowly, then mounted a wide rally to finish a half-length back of Mutamam, whom he tried to savage in deep stretch. Following the race, Paolini's trainer, Andreas Wohler, claimed foul on Mutamam's rider, Richard Hills, for alleged whip interference, which was disallowed.

Paolini has run three times this year, with his best result a second in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup. He encountered traffic problems in the stretch of the Grade 1 Arlington Million, in which he ended up sixth, just a half-length behind victorious Beat Hollow.

Wohler said he gave Paolini a break after the Aug. 17 Arlington Million, with this race in mind.

"He appears to be in good form right now," Wohler said. "I think this year's field might not be as tough as last year."

Zindabad, based in England with trainer Mark Johnston, was beaten just 1 1/4 lengths in the 2001 International, but was disqualified from third and placed sixth for bothering Falcon Flight in the stretch.

Zindabad has won 3 of 6 outings this year, including a pair of Group 2 races. He finished third last time out, in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

"This is far and away his best year," said Johnston. "He's been very consistent in his few runs."

Johnston also sends out the durable 10-year-old Yavana's Pace, the likely pacemaker, who was third in a Group 1 event last weekend in Germany.

Yavana's Pace won't mind soft turf - a possibility with recent rain - but soft turf could hinder the chances of Paolini and Zindabad.

Ballingarry is the other European invader in the field. A 3-year-old trained by Aidan O'Brien, Ballingarry finished second in the Group 1 Italian Derby in May, and was third behind Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral in the Group 1 Irish Derby in June. He returned from a 2 1/2-month layoff on Sept. 14, ending up third in the Group 1 Irish St. Leger.

"He's very much an improving horse," said O'Brien. "He'll get a mile and a half well."

Falcon Flight, who was moved from sixth to fourth by disqualification in the 2001 International, has run just twice this year. He captured the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, and was fifth in the Arlington Million after being blocked in deep stretch.

"We gave him some time off after last year's race," said trainer Don Burke. "We wanted to stretch him out into this race, and if he's good enough, go on to the Breeders' Cup. We got two good races into him at Arlington, and maybe should have won the last one."

Perfect Soul, a late bloomer trained by Roger Attfield, suffered his first loss here a month ago, running second to Full of Wonder in the Grade 1 Niagara BC Handicap.

Regular rider Robert Landry said he moved sooner than he wanted to aboard Perfect Soul in the Niagara.

"He's still very green," Landry said. "Last time, when [Full of Wonder] passed him, he dug back in, but the other horse had more momentum. Ideally, I'd like to get him covered up and relaxed, and then make one run."

Full of Wonder won his first stakes in the Niagara, and has blossomed this year for trainer Mark Frostad, who will also saddle Breeders' Stakes winner Portcullis.

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